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Coney Island

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Coney Island

by Unknown

Published ca. 1940s

The great amusement zone in its heyday.

Run time 9:19
Producer Unknown
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Brooklyn, N.Y.

* 11:01:52:27- 11:02:13:25
Nice montage of Coney Island boardwalk. Starts with image of soldier taking
his friends' photo. All around them are people, and behind them we see
"Ocean Baths." Cut to a close up of two young women and men (they look
stylish) in a close circle talking_behind them we see "Hyman's Bar &
Grill." Cut to an overview of a crowded section of the boardwalk.
. 11:02:14:03- 11:02:59:08
Crowd of smiling people standing around and looking up. Cut to MCU LA
carnival or sideshow barker speaking into microphone and pointing while
holding tickets. TU to pointer at freak show sign "Smallest Grown Ups On
Earth". People buying freak show tickets. Cut to lurid circus freak show
posters: "Madam Zenda: World's Greatest Mind Reader", "Prof. Frank Graf:
Human Art" (tattooing; poster only), "Marian: Headless Girl From London"
(extremely lurid and practically indescribable), "Winsome Winnie: Fat
Pretty And Jolly" (the circus fat lady), many others including "Zip & Pip:
2 Georgia Peaches". Cut to very rare footage of midget PINHEADS (Zip & Pip,
apparently) on display in the freak show. Cut to people milling about on
Coney Island street.

Brooklyn, New York Hot dogs Frankfurters Eating Amusement parks Roller coasters Rides Beaches Leisure Recreation


Reviewer: MusicArchiveFreak - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 28, 2013
Subject: Great Film
Love the roller coaster shots. I had totally forgot about the spinning wheel ride where you sit in the middle and it slings you all around, and also the spinning barrel you walk through. I experienced them in the 60s when i was elementary school age. good stuff.
Reviewer: ERD. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 21, 2012
Subject: When Coney Island was tops
Nice nostalgic 1940 film about Coney Island. When I lived in New York I would go there a lot until it turned somewhat seedy.
Reviewer: SuzyQ666 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 20, 2012
Subject: Oh my God!
I lived in NYC (Park Slope, Brooklyn)during the 80s until the mid-90s. I had a friend who was a native of Brooklyn, and who knew "where all the interesting/exciting "skeletons" were "buried" in the Borough!
To me, a native Californian, viewing these old pictures (and the real thing) of Coney Island were just "beyond the Pale" to me. I never, as a kid, ever had to share my space while sunning or surfing at any of the beautiful Calif. beaches on the Pacific...So, the shots of the crowds in this video made me laugh out loud! So did the guy dancing around with the tiger. There were no animals when I lived in Brooklyn. I take that back. I think I dated a few guys out of my species!
There were a few things I'll never figure out:
1)Why do you have to wait in three separate lines at Nathan's Famous to get a hot dog; an order of those fries; and a Diet Coke! What the hell is that all about??? 2) Why I never got tossed out of the "shooting gallery", as I kept getting 100% games over and over and over...3)I'm glad to know that things have been "refurbished" since '96 when I returned to Calif. But I loved my view (in the far distance, no less!)from my co-op, of the not-in-service parachute jump! I think it's also been re-done. Is that so? And now for my #3 (but really "first" in personal concern): Why oh why did Mrs. Stahl close down (her?) wonderful, amazing,best-in-the-world knish shop???? My best friend and I used to go down on a Sunday in my old jalopy, buy a terrific knish from Mrs. Stahl's (and an extra one to take home to have another day) and a cup of coffee (because there was usually a cool breeze blowing down there). We'd then take our "goodies" and find a place along the boardwalk where we could sit, legs dangling toward the sand below, and enjoy our knishes (I nearly always got the potato/mushroom kind; my friend always got a potato/broccoli and onion kind. It was so much fun "watching people" down on the beach, and the Russian immigrants parading about the boardwalk. Couldn't understand a word they said, but I always did my own "creative" translations! NOW, my last comment/memory: The Cyclone!!! I rode that sucker on a dare from my best friend, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, but who never had the nerve (or the inclination) to ride the Cyclone! We did ride it, and all the while I kept telling myself,"This is supposed to be FUN, right?" I had to retire a few years ago after back surgery to correct several totally squashed discs; many small fractures in my vertebrae, front and back,which the surgeon was supposed to fix. Well, to this day (5 years later!) I can say it has made things worse!!! Now, I have to see a pain specialist; too bad I don't have the nerve to ask, but there are two medical marijuana dispensaries within 2 miles of our house! But you gotta love Coney Island; and never miss the "Mermaid Parade"!
Reviewer: seventyeights - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 31, 2010
Subject: Coney Island 1940
Love it,just sitting back and reminiscing as I lived in Coney Island in the '40s and my family owned the The Seagate Sweet Shop which was just inside Seagate on Mermaid ave.I worked in the Sweet Shop and for my pay I would get a roll of nickels ($2.00)and take the Norton's Point Trolley
down to Stillwell ave.
Reviewer: check12 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2009
Subject: How do you dl?
How do you download this video in HighRes. I click High Res/mpeg 4 but it never loads...?
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2006
Subject: Captures the Mood
This is an excellent film that captures the mood of Coney Island when it still at its height in 1940. Luna Park, burnt down in 1944, and the Steeple Chase,thrown down in 1964, are shown.
It was at a time when New York City was one of the best places to live in.
Reviewer: Arensky - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 2, 2005
Subject: Zowie! Coney Island Caviar
What a feast this little movie is. The was a time when Coney Island conjured up the definitive definition of fun for every one. The rides, the food, the beach, the boardwalk -- Disneyland never saw the day. How I wish I could go back and ride that old "woody" roller coaster once more or taste a real Coney Island hotdog.

Castle Films had contracts with Paramount, Universal and United Artists and would sell 10-minute cutdowns of features to individuals. I think they had short versions of nearly every Hopalong Cassidy western in their catalog. In fact, the music used during the tiger taming scenes is the "Dance Of The Furies" from the opera Orfeo by Christoph Willibald Gluck, used as chase music in the first six Hoppys.

I think it would be safe to say that this film was originally a Paramount release and home rights were sold to Eugene Castle for distribution through camera stores. At any rate, "Coney Island" is well worth a download and its a keeper.

Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 30, 2003
Subject: Coney Island
This newsreel featurette is a real slice of life from the heyday of the amusement park. Usually these kinds of films portray activities that are fun to do but lame to watch. But this one is actually quite fun to watch, perhaps because the old classic amusement park culture has disappeared for the most part. In this film it lives again, and you get to visit the sideshows, complete with freaks (check out the wonderful advertising posters for these shows), ride all kinds of common and bizarre rides, eat traditional Coney Island food such as hot dogs and frozen custard (prices start at 10 cents!) and even get a souvenir picture postcard taken of you and your friends. The place is packed and everybody seems to be having a great time. This film is one of the best pieces of nostalgia I've seen in a long time, and that's saying a lot for what is essentially just an old Castle Films newsreel featurette.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 7, 2003
Subject: Now THIS I lvoe.
I just LOVE OLD AMUSEMENT PARK FOOTAGE!!! This is one bonanza of it, as we see the grand-daddy of them all, Coney Island, in all it's glory. We start at the beach, where there's not a spot to be found. There must be thousands of people there! We then turn to the sideshows and freakshows, where we get to see a glimpse of the "pinheads' (I think they were in Freaks?) anyways, after THAT the ride footage starts, and oh man, what rides they are! We have the spinning rides that take you up in the air (with no harnesses!) and the roller coaster, but the rides that looked totally fascinating were the ride where you sit in the middle with a bunch of people while the ride spins around, you gradually get sucked off to the middle to the sides (and colliding into people as well) as well as the spinning discs which TOTALLY looks fun. Oh MAN! EASILY one of the best films on this site!
Reviewer: xrayspex - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 15, 2002
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